This is one of my top 5 games EVER. Not a GTA clone (it was in production for a few years and released one month after GTA 3. Its better.
The story is $#@!ing amazing and the graphics were so good back then and even hold up today. Mafia II was a pretty big letdown, the first just had ... i dunno but it is a hundred times better(story, level design, and atmosphere).
Every gamer should give this a try and it can be found dirt cheap. You will not regret it one bit, it may even be the best game you ever played.
Here are some other opening posts from LTTP threads that explain why its so good.
From neogaf thread i bumped
RTTP: Mafia (PC) #1
Or the greatest period piece in gaming history.
I'm not sure that I've ever come across a better established sense of time and place in his medium. The period, music, dialogue, clothing, cars, architecture - it was just like this real touchable open world to inhabit. I'm sure it helps that i have a strong affinity for this period, but the fact that the game came completely out of left field for everyone, only to blow us all away, was maybe the most surprising.
To me, the keys to the games successes were:
1. Commitment to authenticity over gameplay convenience - from the guns to the cars, to getting pulled over for a traffic ticket, this was a specific experience that knew exactly what it wanted to accomplish, and didn't give a toss if it alienated players in the process. It could have gone the wrong way (and maybe it did for some), but to me, it created one of the most compelling gameplay experiences in an open world game yet.
2. Environment design - the attention to detail in the environments was intoxicating. From the feel of the garage before the (infamous) race, to the bar where you make yourself, to the sense of place in the alley when you're walking your future wife home at sunset, the gameplay was all set in lovingly crafted game spaces.
3. Mission design - I think what Mafia 2 lacked that Mafia had in spades was the sense that each mission was it's own beast, and asked something unique from the player. While there was certainly going to be driving and shooting involved in most, there was always a sense of cohesion, and it was always relevant to an overall story.
4. A brave ending - Spoilers aside, more entries in this medium need to challenge our expectations like Mafia did.
I'd love to see Mafia re-created for the current generation, as any console player that got their hands on it received an unfortunately neutered version, and missed out on one of the great period games. It was said to see Mafia 2 fizzle as it tried to re-create what made this entry special, but like so many great games, it's hard to put your finger on why.
Now that Mafia 2 is less than a month away, I decided to revisit the original and relive one of my most favorite games. Let me first say that I did not play Mafia when it was initially released. I have never been an avid PC gamer and it took me until 2009 to actually play through the game. I instantly fell in love and have now played it 4 times.
Mafia was made by Illusion Softworks(now 2K Czech) and released in 2002. It follows the story of cab driver Tommy Angelo and his rise through the Mafia in the 1930s fictional city of Lost Heaven. Mafia is a fairly unique open world game in that it's much closer to a linear third person shooter than a sandbox game. The world acts as a backdrop to where the missions take place.
What really surprised me the first time I played Mafia was the emphasis on the story and realism. While a lot of open world games encourage you to mess around and give you lots of freedom, Mafia intentionally restricts the player to create a compelling narrative within a convincing world. Cops pull you over for speeding and running red lights, Tommy can only take a few bullets before dying, cars accelerate slowly and require gasoline to drive, some guns have a lot of recoil and are hard to control, and there are very few things to do outside of the main missions except for exploring the city and occasionally doing side missions for a friendly mechanic.
It was a big change from what I was used to in other open world games. While the restrictions sound like bad things, they actually immersed me further into the world and story. I didn't find myself constantly distracted by pointless side activities and I was never asking "why I am I doing this?". Every mission has a very specific purpose and they all greatly contribute to the story.
The actual story of Mafia isn't anything too out of the ordinary, but it's quite good for a videogame and it's executed very well. It's rare that a videogame can pull off a mature storyline and make it feel compelling, but Mafia succeeds. I'd also put it in the running for best videogame ending. Perhaps the best part of the story is Tommy's character development. Certain scenes with Frank, Paulie, & the priest come to mind as times when I was really fascinated by Tommy's moral choices.
As for the gameplay, most missions take place in large set pieces around the city such as the hotel, farm, airport, parking garage, harbor, steamboat, prison, and art gallery. There's quite a variety of missions - while driving and shooting are the two main gameplay components, some missions also emphasize stealth. A few of these missions are absolutely huge and take a while to complete. Specifically, the airport and the harbor are really wide open areas where you're given a vague direction and expected to find what you're looking for. For being a linear game some of these missions are fairly open ended.
One of my favorite aspects of Mafia is the overall atmosphere. This is mainly achieved through the graphics and the soundtrack. Despite being 8 years old, Mafia still looks quite beautiful. The main character’s faces particularly amaze me. The only problem is the terrible draw distance, but thankfully this can be fixed through mods. Each main section of Lost Heaven has its own music from artists such as Django Reinhardt & The Mills Brothers. The orchestral soundtrack was composed by Vladimir Simunek and provides some truly haunting music for each mission. The main theme in particular is quite beautiful.
The missions themselves also have fantastic atmosphere. Mafia does not have a dynamic day/night schedule. Instead the developers chose to control the weather for each mission. This goes a long way in making some of the missions very atmospheric. The mission “A Trip to the Countryside” immediately springs to mind. The first time I played this mission the combination of thunderstorms and creaky barns made me unexpectedly fearful of what I would encounter on this farm. The abandoned prison tower and the steamboat are two other levels with lovely atmosphere.
For as much as I love this game it certainly has its flaws. To me, the most problematic things are the melee combat and the buddy AI. Thankfully there only 2 missions that force you to use melee combat, but these missions are my least favorite because of it. The buddy AI is not very intelligent, but it's not really a problem until you get to a certain mission(parking garage) in which your two AI friends are determined to kill themselves anyway they can. While the story is great, there are certain parts that I wish they expanded on(specifically Tommy joining the mafia, his relationship with Sarah, & Morello's involvement in the plot). Also, the voice acting for the main characters is mostly fantastic, but nearly all of the background characters have really terrible voice actors that I find pretty distracting.
Overall Mafia is a truly unique experience. It shares obvious similarities with other open world titles, but it just feels so different. It’s a game that understands drama and is able to tell a compelling story. And despite its flaws, I love nearly everything about it. I hope that Mafia II can deliver an experience on par with this incredible game.
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Mafia 1 The City of Lost Heaven (PC, 2002) Best Game of All Time? One You HAVE TO TRY
Isn't MAFIA 3 in the works?
Take-Two confirms layoffs at 2K Czech, while affirming commitment to continue making games; cuts mostly made at Brno studio.
Don't remember much about mafia 1 but Mafia 2 has the best collectible items of all time!(•_•)
Stop preordering games! Stop buying day1 games! Stop being idiots!
It was a great game. I don't think it holds up today though, it's very dated. I can only play it due to the nostalgia factor. It still has one of the better endings in gaming, 2 was atrocious.
My name isn't a misspelled Nazi,god****.
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If you have to butcher a game that much simply kill it all the way. It should have stuck to just PC.
Mafia is a fantastic game, I remember when it used to crush systems in the day.
I bet my i7 4770, GTX 650 and 16GB RAM would nail it.
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Mafia had actually released three months after GTA III, not one month, if we are talking about the PC versions. And the PS2 version of GTA III had been out for nearly a year.
Anyways, Mafia certainly looked good for its time though it is a PC game so it's no surprise that it would be better in that regard. Gameplay-wise, I don't like how it doesn't encourage the player to explore and how easy it is to get killed so I didn't end up playing it for more than a couple hours.
That isn't to say that I can't enjoy old PC games (the original Deus Ex is in my personal top 5) but I feel Mafia is a little overrated for a game continuously compared to Rockstar's open world epic.
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Great game, but getting stopped for speeding and other minor things. Was really stupidPlato and Aristotle, a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge
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